Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Prices of flight tickets surge, spoil holiday mood of people

Pune: Twenty-eight-year-old Ashutosh Adhikari had to scrap his last-minute plan to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve with family and friends in Kolkata. The reason? High air fares.
"It was a sudden plan — many of my friends had asked me to come (to Kolkata). I even got a week's leave approved. Once I checked the air fares, however, the whole plan went for a toss. I simply cannot afford the fares right now. I so wanted to be there, but cannot," Ashutosh said.
This year, air fares are 18% higher than the same period last year, forcing many to cancel their plans of going home. Travel experts attribute the surge to this being a shorter holiday season compared to the summer vacations, sending fares soaring in many domestic sectors.
"The ticket fare from Pune to Kolkata for December 23 is more than Rs10,500, and for a return trip on January 2, the fare is Rs8,000. It is impossible for me to spend Rs18,000 on just flights," Ashutosh said.
For the same period, a Pune-Goa flight ticket costs Rs11,100 one way. For a return trip, (Pune-Goa-Pune), the fare hovers around Rs17,000.
Travel companies say this is not unexpected. "Historically, air fares see a surge in peak season, and Christmas-New Year follow the same trend," said Amit Madhan of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. "For our Pune source market, international short-haul trips (Dubai-Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur) have seen maximum growth. Long-haul trips that are a favourite include Sydney, Auckland/Christchurch, London, Paris, New York and San Francisco," he said.
19/12/17 Joy Sengupta/Times of India